Hospitality and travel accounts for 1 out of every 10 employment opportunities, meaning that there are many new workers in the industry every day that require training.
If you’re a CPD manager or learning and development manager in hospitality and tourism, you will have witnessed the struggles of this industry firsthand. Therefore, we hope you’ll benefit from this article about how professional development will help the hospitality and tourism industry in 2021 and beyond. We know that training is one of the biggest aspects that hospitality employers need to focus on, so the industry can recover. So, what skills do hospitality workers need the most?
There are 4 sectors of the hospitality industry: lodging, food and beverages, recreation, and travel and tourism. We’ll therefore look at each sector one by one, and which training is needed for them.
Workers in the lodging sector have to focus on delivering the standards of a specific hotel, hostel, B&B, camping ground, etc., or its chain. This must offer a unique experience, due to the drop in demand for people travelling and booking hotels and other lodging. For instance, if a hotel chain makes its staff carry out a specific greeting to guests, and they want to ensure that guests at their London hotel get the same experience as guests at their Paris and Barcelona hotels, its staff, new and old, at multiple locations, have to all receive the same training. This is so that guests can see these chains’ staff as essentially one unit. One way to achieve this is to get training videos produced that can be subtitled and reused by different hotels in the chain, as opposed to holding multiple training sessions over and over again and in different countries.
With new safety standards at such venues, COVID-related training sessions and videos will also need to be produced, as a matter of paramount importance.
Food and Beverage
Workers in this sector need to have extremely well-developed communication skills. For instance, if there is a mix-up with an order or something else goes wrong (which is especially important to keep an eye on with so many different concerns such as allergies). Their communication skills can’t just be straightforward or basic, as they must also adapt to challenging situations, using their communication skills to problem-solve or address service issues, e.g. if there’s a mix-up with orders.
Workers must also learn how to prepare and deliver foods and beverages in new and safe ways. As people tend to learn practical skills best from viewing, not just reading theory, workers in this sector should be encouraged to attend technical conferences, workshops, and other events regarding food preparation.
Workers must also explain how these have been prepared and delivered in new and safe ways, to put consumers’ minds at ease. They must also explain such measures so consumers can understand and comply with them. For instance, if food needs to be consumed off the premises or masks must be worn when not eating, workers need to communicate this clearly. It could be said that no other sector requires such stringent safety measures as the food and beverage sector, so training sessions and videos need to be edited down to convey the most relevant information to workers that may have to adhere to strict safety guidelines while facing members of the public that may disagree with them.
The sector responsible for entertainment and relaxation, at places such as cinemas, amusement parks and theatres, were the first to close and are the last to reopen. Therefore, staff will have had lots of time away with little opportunity to even work from home. They hence need training materials that are easy to retain, such as engaging videos or gamified apps.
This training looks drastically different these days, as all different parts of this sector have had to adapt for COVID-19. Workers in the recreation sector must alter how they carry out all aspects of their job role, as well as carry out completely new duties such as checking for vaccine passports or negative COVID tests upon venue entry. This brings with it the challenge of possibly dealing with even more upset patrons than usual. So, learning and development professionals need to give these workers opportunities to develop their leadership and assertiveness. Another CPD activity for hospitality and tourism professionals is to get them to undertake research, so they’re aware of what people’s attitudes are with regards to certain venue entry requirements and are prepared to deal with these.
Travel and Tourism
For people who work on airlines, cruise ships, buses, trains etc., safety and security are more important than ever. The basic idea used to be that staff must know safety basics, with at least one person being able to perform first aid and CPR. However, this has spiked in importance due to the pandemic; as it’s easy to assume certain safety measures are already being carried out (e.g. hand sanitisers have been a norm upon entry to every room in a cruise ship since long before COVID), or not know whether to prioritise the security of a plane journey, for instance, or social distancing guidelines. However, staff must be trained to consistently discuss safety and security issues with colleagues. One key technique that can be taught in CPD is the ability to communicate well, as this is key to preventing any issues in such a high-tension sector.
Many workers in the hospitality and tourism industry start in entry-level positions, before working their way up to jobs with more responsibility. Therefore, by developing their skills in assertiveness, leadership and communication, and their confidence in health and safety standards, it’s easier to recognise and reward the talent that deserves these higher management positions. Take the time to train your workers, and the benefits will be visible.